Blinks - Montia fontana

Alternative names
Water Blinks

Very variable low to short, straggling plant. Stems are often reddish and the leaves are opposite, narrow-oval and rather succulent. The flowers are inconspicuous, small (2 mm) and white, with 2 sepals and five un-notched petals.

There are several subspecies, which can only be separated by examining the seeds.  The most frequently recorded subspecies in Leicestershire is Montia fontana subsp. chondrosperma.  The seeds are not very shiny, and are warty (tuberculate) on the face and margin. 

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Plants in the campion/chickweed family (Caryophyllaceae) may have similar white flowers, but with 5 sepals.

Recording advice

Good close-up photo of flower and leaves.  It is advisable to take a specimen of this in case it is needed for verification. 


Damp ground, especially where water lies in winter, in marshes and beside water and sometimes submerged. It favours acidic soils.

When to see it

April to October.

Life History

Annual or perennial.

UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain.

VC55 Status

Local in Leicestershire and Rutland, possibly increasing its range. In the Flora of Leicestershire (Primavesi and Evans 1988) it was found in 14 of the 617 tetrads.

It was on the 2011 VC55 Rare Plant Register (Jeeves, 2011) but does not meet the criteria for the current RPR (Hall and Woodward, 2022) - it may have been overlooked in the past

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
23/04/2007 (Dave Wood)
Last record:
23/05/2023 (Donovan, Lindsi)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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